Running stories with happy endings

April 26, 2012

Yeshivah student Sam Baum, 19, was one of the youngest marathon entrants and the fastest of the contingent supporting Emunah, who raised a combined £12,000-plus.

The former Hasmonean pupil's time of three hours 51 minutes bettered his previous marathon finish. He said that seeing family members along the route had spurred him on. "I started cramping up at 23 miles but I kept calm and went at my own pace.

"I've been to Emunah's children's home in Afula and not only do they care for the children really well - they set them up for life."

For Aron Schlagman, events director at the Four Seasons Hotel in Park Lane, his 4:56 finish was a personal best. "My mother and grandmother support Emunah so it was an obvious choice," he said. "It's been a great day and an emotional experience. Sign me up for 2013."

The Emunah group also included husband-and-wife Emma and Elliot Benjamin, who crossed the line in five hours 21 minutes. Mrs Benjamin said her husband could have recorded a faster time had he not waited for her after she experienced problems around the halfway point. "As we passed the finishing line, I felt amazed at what we had achieved."

‘I could barely feel my legs from mile 13, so finishing was fantastic’

Students Alan Greenstein (5:12) and Alex Miller (6:58) were other Emunah entrants, the latter helped to finish by a vapour rub from a St John ambulance member after he stopped because of a leg spasm at 19 miles.

The marathon running total for special needs charity Kisharon was £10,000-plus, with friends Simon Conway, 45, and Eliot Sim, 44, finishing together in five hours 13 minutes. Also among the group was marketing consultant Lauren Posner (7:26), who had travelled from Jerusalem to take part. The 32-year-old said: "I could barely feel my legs from mile 13, so getting to the finishing line was fantastic."

Shani Singer (7:35) and Sara Parsowith (7:40) were other Kisharon supporters. Ms Parsowith decided to run "as an antidote to turning 40 and because it is particularly special in an Olympic year." But there was disappointment for Australian-born Phil Karp, 40, who also ran for Kisharon in 2007. He was unable to continue after his knee "blew" at 18 miles.

Jewish Care is £10,000 better off through the marathon efforts of George Silber (3:56), Gary Rokenson (4:40), Monique Wayne (5:30), Emily Sheetz (3:54), Daniel Lerner (5:19) and Darren Brown (4:15).

Langdon runners brought in a total £15,500. They included trustee Nigel Henry, 47, whose time was 3:50. First timer Greg Brandon suffered an injury but managed to finish in 6:55 and the Langdon team was completed by Andy Sarsby (5:47) and Robert Dagul (4:14).

For Magen David Adom entrant Zak Braham, the London race was a fourth recent marathon, having run in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Brighton. Finishing in five hours 45 minutes, he raised £1,500.

Chai Cancer Care supporter Oliver Newton, crossed the finish line in 4:33 feeling "very emotional. I now feel I can complete anything I set my mind to. The support from the crowds was unbelievable and really pushed me through the last few miles. If anyone is considering signing up for next year, just do it. You will not regret your decision." Mr Newton raised £7,500.

Lewis Malka, 37, completed his 10th marathon, earning £10,000 for Meir Panim, and plans to run the New York event for the same charity. "I was in Israel last year and went to two soup kitchens and a school in the south which Meir Panim helps and was moved by the efforts made." His time of 4:46 on Sunday was not his best - "I put this down to giving people value for money."

Hove runner Andrew Jenshil, 40, completed his first London Marathon in five hours, raising £2,500-plus for the Dystonia Society, which his family has been associated with for many years. Mr Jenshil also wanted to raise awareness of dystonia, a neurological movement disorder linked to a gene common in Ashkenazim.

Edgware Yeshurun member George Jackson, 48, came home in just over three hours, earning £3,000-plus for the St Luke's Hospice in memory of his father-in-law Martin Cohen, who died in the Harrow hospice last year.

North Londoner Toby Craig, 30, was a first time entrant. He completed the race in under four hours and raised more than £2,000 for the MS Society.

Also making his marathon debut was fiftysomething Nigel Conway, who brought in £3,500 for Boys Town Jerusalem. Mr Conway - who finished in four hours 36 minutes - reflected: "I've always said that this would be my first and only marathon. But this was such an amazing experience that I'm having second thoughts.

"I had such a good time and I really felt comfortable throughout. I'm so glad that I trained properly - that really did help."

For lawyer Greg Allon, Sunday's race was a more pleasurable experience than his previous London Marathon in 2009, which he recalled as "a disaster" - he had to walk the final seven miles.

This time, the 42-year-old north-west Londoner came home in 3:23, generating £3,000 for the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Trust. The one-year-old child of an old FZY friend has been diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, an untreatable muscle wasting disease.

Running in aid of Action on Hearing Loss, profoundly deaf Martin Pampel, 28, finished in three hours 38 minutes. The Manchester-based runner was delighted with his time, an improvement of more than hour on his previous performance. Former King Solomon High pupil Elliott Manning, 23, is well on his way to a target of £2,000 for the National Deaf Children's Society, having come home in 4:45.

Sixty-two-year-old GP Dr Martin Wolfson was "delighted" with his time of 3.52. The Kingston Synagogue member raised more than £4,000 for the local Princess Alice Hospice, "which has sadly had to care for so many of our friends".

Simon Lawrence (4:31) raised £5,000 to be split between youth activities at Hendon Football Club, which he chairs, and MS charity Aims2Cure.

Lauren Silver and sister-in-law Leanne Silver (both 5:55) ran the marathon for the first time for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), generating £5,000-plus.

The Variety Club benefited by £2,350 from the run of Jessica Enoch, who works in marketing. Debra Wilton ran her first marathon in 5:23, raising more than £2,000 for the Miscarriage Association.

Last updated: 6:06pm, April 26 2012